© Milan Hutera

Blancaneaux logró en Trnava su primera victoria de cuadro final en el ATP Challenger Tour.

Blancaneaux Rides Roland Garros Success In Challengers

This year's boys' singles champion is enjoying a breakthrough week in Trnava

After winning the boys’ singles title this year at Roland Garros, Geoffrey Blancaneaux is turning his attention to the pros.

The 18-year-old Frenchman is competing at this week’s $50,000 ATP Challenger Tour event in Trnava, Slovakia. After coming through qualifying, Blancaneaux won his first-ever main draw Challenger match on Tuesday by defeating local wild card Patrik Fabian, 6-4, 6-3.

“It was a big experience for me and I felt a bit of pressure going into the match. Even though I’ve played in Grand Slam qualifying before, it’s not quite the same,” said Blancaneaux. “It’s a lot tougher in Challengers compared to the juniors. I constantly play against Top 200 players and sometimes even Top 100.”

Blancaneaux made headlines earlier this year at Roland Garros, where he saved three championship points to prevail in an 8-6 deciding set over Felix Auger Aliassime of Canada in the boys’ singles final. With former Roland Garros champion and fellow Frenchman Yannick Noah looking on, Blancaneaux struck a forehand winner on match point and collapsed to the ground in celebration.

“Winning there gave me so much confidence, especially on clay. I’m improving each day and seeing my level go up quickly,” he said. “I just need to be stronger on the first few balls [of the rally] now, which is what I’m missing.”

Although Blancaneaux will play the junior events at the US Open, his primary focus is on playing Futures and ATP Challenger Tour events. But after this week, he said it’s a safe bet he will return to Trnava.

“I've played the ITF Junior event here before, but this is completely different. The tournament director, structure and courts are all unbelievable,” said Blancaneaux. “I’m telling players they should come here and I will come back with pleasure.”

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